Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Emotion in Singing

The Lord has granted me the honor and privilege of speaking at Worship God '08. I'm greatly looking forward to the fellowship with the saints there, thinking about and applying the Psalms to our lives as worshippers of the Sovereign Lord.

I have the honor of speaking on the Psalms and our emotion in worship. A friend sent me this video. I wonder if this is what Bob has in mind?



For the unitiated, the first few songs were very popular R&B love songs. Should we sing those to God in worship???

11 comments:

Bob Kauflin said...

Thabiti,

I just hope you're going to more places than GospelTube to help you prepare for your message...

And since you asked, I don't think it's helpful, wise, or necessary to sing popular secular love songs as worship to God. There's a huge (infinite?) difference between singing a song to my wife and singing a song to my Creator/Redeemer. Despite Bishop Lester's sincere intentions.Even when some of the phrases can be interchanged, the associations are often hard to overcome.

And too often it just leads to bad theology. I remember a woman singing Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful" at a conference one time. That was bad enough, but she was singing it as though God were singing it to us. It didn't quite work when we got to the line "You're everything I hoped for, you're everything I dreamed..."

Looking forward to what God is going to bring to us through your message at the conference.

LouLove said...

Why did the brother have to go and mess with Heat Wave?

J. R. and I slow danced to that song at our wedding reception and Lord willing we will do it again in February when we celebrate 30 years. I don't care what that brother says, when I hear or sing "Always and Forever", I am thinking of my woman. And if truth be told so is the Bishop and them folks trying to get their worship on. Some "thangs" are not transferable.

Trying to make "Always and Forever' fit into a worship setting is like Mary J, Blige trying to sing one of Chaka Khan's cuts or like Boyz to Men trying to get up on Earth Wind and Fire, and you know that ain't working.

Another thing, ole boy needs to either represent correctly or change his last name, (naw we ain't kin, don't even go there T.)

j razz said...

...Thabiti Anyabwile over on Pure Church blog has been invited to speak at Worship God '08. He asks a pertinent question: What songs should be sung in worship to God?...

FellowElder said...

LouLove,
I did wonder if that were some of your peeps man!! :-) I don't know too many Loves, man.

Hey Bob,
Ouch! "You are so beautiful"... and God singing it to us! Ouch! Trusting the Lord will serve us better with the inspired songs of the psalter! Can't wait to fellowship with you all.

Thabiti

Jennifer said...

Actually... I have been known to do this in my own personal worship sometimes. I do think worship leaders should exercise caution because of strong personal associations that some people might have.

However, I think I am rightly able to discern for myself which secular songs can be repurposed for my my own, personal worship experience.

I have enjoyed hearing choirs/praise teams sing an originally secular song in church as the congregation listens. It helped me to understand the song differently and to think of God's love the next time I heard the song.

Of course, I'm just a layperson, and a secularly educated one at that...

Jennifer

smithbaptist said...

This is typical of an entire school of thought in "contemporary worship." This whole "Jesus is my lover" philosophy.

Ironically, a national recording artist visited our church Sunday. As I was critiquing a terrible song that asks Jesus to "dance with us and romance," I was unaware that the song was actually on this guy's CD.

This faulty hermeneutic collapses the love-language of the man/woman in the Song of Solomon with the picture of the church at consumation as the spotless "Bride of Christ." It also feeds on the sensuality of our culture.

Hayden said...

Thabiti,

I have just been greatly blessed by the church giving we a little time for a personal retreat and I read Bob Kauflin's book "Worship Matters". What a great book on worship!

It makes me wish that I had waited to use my one conference that I am allowed to go to for the year on Worship God 08.

By the way, could you imagine Bob K. belting those tune out on a Sunday morning at Covenant Life Church? What would the people do? :)

Pastor Lance said...

hey Big T,

the trend to romanticize God through song was recently popularized by Kirk Franklin. his songs would speak of God's touch and even His kiss.

the issue however should move us toward encouraging artists to put music to the psalms and other biblical passages. such music could be aimed at congregational singing and come from the particular ethnic heritage of the musician.

peace
LL

LouLove said...

Hey T:
I agree with Brother Lance and I was just listening to a tune by Brooklyn Tab titled "My Help" based on Psalm 121. Their CD titled "High and Lifted Up" has several good songs that are appropriate for congregational singing.

Elder Grant is currently in the process of arranging some of them so New Life can sing them.

You know we are challenged in this! area.

So my thinking is that with a little work and research, we will discover that some of the brothers and sisters are producing songs that we could use.

Dr. Jonas from Antigua is great at taking some of the songs and tweaking them so that they line up doctrinally. This is something else that can be done.

Also thank God for Sovereign Grace and the great music that they put out, "Jesus Thank You" is "off the hook".

E. McAllister said...

The last thing you need is one of the pastors accidentally shouting "Whoo, Thank you BABY!!!...I mean...Jesus".

I praise God and my prayers go out for the music directors/ministers who are navigating Sunday morning with clarity and care, charging us to bring our emotion and our intellect to worship. God has blessed his people with too much creativity and talent for us to settle for "relevance", sensation, or witty nostalgia.

Randy Biswell said...

God is "Holiness" which has no meaning apart from him, not an equal or contemporary therefore in my view this is profane, not recognizing the chasm between the creator and the created. He is not my lover he is my God!! He is Holy and is worthy to be praised.....lifted up (above us)!